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Photograph of Titanic victims being buried at sea days after tragedy


Photo: Henry Aldridge and Son /PA Wire

Photo: Henry Aldridge and Son /PA Wire

Photo: Henry Aldridge and Son /PA Wire

A photograph showing victims of the Titanic tragedy being buried at sea has been uncovered.

Bodies in sacks are piled three high before being tipped overboard as the ship's priest conducts a service.

The black and white image was taken days after the tragedy, on April 15, 1912, on board recovery ship the CS Mackay Bennett.



More than 1,500 people died when the "unsinkable" liner hit an iceberg and went down in the Atlantic.

Records show 166 out of 306 bodies collected by the Mackay Bennett were buried at sea but no images had been seen until now.

The photograph was discovered when the family of one of the crew members of the Mackay Bennett took a collection of his possessions to auctioneers.

Andrew Aldridge, of Henry Aldridge & Son in Devizes, Wiltshire, where the photograph will go under the hammer, said it gave a "unique insight" into the final chapter of the Titanic.

"The Titanic has a beginning, middle and end," he said. "This isn't one of the most pleasant or glamorous but it brings a certain level of realism to the story.

"She was the ship of dreams but the story ended with bodies being pulled out of the water.

"It has always been said that the process was dignified and organised but piles of bodies are neither of those. The bodies are piled up waist high. This picture shows the dirty side of the business."

Mr Aldridge expects the photograph to fetch between £3,000 and £5,000 when it is auctioned on October 19.